Thursday, August 4, 2016

Chutzpah: Old Woman Alters Artwork, Now Wants Copywright On It For "Improvments"

An elderly woman "improve" a piece of artwork'
depicting a crossword puzzle and now shes'
claiming copywright control over it.  
The Nuremberg, Germany Neuse Museum recently had on loan a piece of artwork by 20th century artist Arthur Kopcke that depicts a crossword puzzle.

A 90-year old woman, identified only as Hannelore K. visited the gallery and started filling in the crossword puzzle on the artpiece becuase it bore the phrases "insert words" and "so it suits."

OK, I get it that a 90 year old woman might get confused a bit and not realize she's not supposed to touch the artwork in a museum.

So far, she hasn't gotten in trouble, though police are investigating her. The museum went to work restoring the artwork to its original condition. The piece had an estimated value of $90,000

However, according to Ars Technica, Hannelore lawyered up and, in a demonstration of pretty huge chutzpah, is now claiming copywright control over Kopcke's piece.

Hannelore's lawyer said she increased the value of the work by bringing the relatively unknown Kopcke to the attention of the public. And her "invigorating re-working," as the lawyer put it, of the exhibit increased its worth.

With that, the lawyer summed up, Hannelore now owns the copywright to the work, since she "improved" it.

Hannelor could technically, in theory,  have the backing, sort of, of the original artist. Ars Technica says that Kopcke was part of an art movement called Fluxus, which stated that museums really didn't have the authority to determine the value of art, and Fluxus art involved the viewer.

Hannelor certainly involved herself in the artwork.

Should I start going to musuems and "improving" artwork? Put a mustache on Mona Lisa? Make the subject of "The Scream" seem happier?

I could make a lot of money doing this, huh?

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